June 6th, 2009

A Japanese female diver has died while diving in Cebu, Philippines after reportedly being struck by boat propeller.

Etsuko Kosaka from Ishikawa, Japan was struck in the head by a boat's propeller as she surfaced from a dive in waters off the city of Lapu Lapu in central Cebu province on Thursday, police said.

Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO) duty officer SPO4 Danilo Tampus said speed boat driver Antonio Cordova Cahilig, 20, single, rushed the 52-year-old victim Etsuko Kosaka to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital, where she later died.

Homicide investigator SPO4 Rolito Jumao-as said Kosaka, married, from Ishikawa, Japan, was with her dive instructor Yuki Kimura, 34, and other Japanese nationals attending a dive session organized by Blue World Collection and Dive Shop when the accident happened at about 12:22 p.m. Thursday.

Police are now preparing a case of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide against Cahilig, who lives with his aunt in Sitio Buyong of the neighboring Barangay Maribago.

Jumao-as said the victim’s family is expected to arrive in Cebu today to claim the body, which now lies in state at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in Barangay Estancia-Ibabao in Mandaue City.

Cahilig, when interviewed yesterday inside the LCPO detention cell, said he was headed for a “paji,” a Korean term for a mobile floating platform, when the victim suddenly surfaced in the water.

He said the speed boat is owned by Korean company “Super Fish,” a scuba diving resort in Barangay Punta Engaño.

Jumao-as said the victim arrived in Lapu-Lapu City last June 23 as a tourist and stayed at Cebu Marine Beach Resort in Barangay Suba Basbas, five kilometers from the accident site.

Dive shops and jetski operators were have been warned to strictly implement precautionary measures to avoid sea accidents or they would lose their business permits.

The warning came from Lapu-Lapu City Administrator Teodulo Ybanez after the June 25 accident where a female Japanese diver was hit and killed by a speedboat owned by a Korean off the seas of Punta Engaño.